Culture / Art Republik

Exhibitions in London and Paris: Luxury jeweller Cartier presents ‘Autophoto’ and ‘Cartier in Motion’

L’Art de Cartier: French luxury goods brand Cartier presents new exhibitions in London and Paris

Jul 11, 2017 | By Ilyda Chua

William Eggleston, ‘Los Alamos series’, 1974. Image courtesy Eggleston Artistic Trust, Memphis

French fine jeweller and watchmaker, Cartier, challenges traditional ideas of art and design with its two new exhibitions, ‘Autophoto’ and ‘Cartier in Motion’, presenting at Paris and London respectively.

Best known as a luxury goods manufacturer specialising in jewellery and wristwatches, Cartier’s presence in the art world is nevertheless substantial. Marked by the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain — the brand’s answer to the demands of a world where the boundaries surrounding the concept of “art” have become increasingly blurred — Cartier’s association with art is clear in its initiatives as well as its products. Based in Paris, the museum was built in 1984 to raise awareness about contemporary art; today, it is an internationally recognised non-profit organisation that continues to act as a prime space for creative and artistic expression, exhibiting works from various genres of contemporary art, including photography, design, fashion, fine art and performance.  

Image courtesy Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain.


The brand’s eclectic ideals are evident in its exhibition, ‘Autophoto’. Showing at the Fondation Cartier, the exhibition places the spotlight on the unusual topic of automobile photography. A genre that emerged in the mid-20th century amidst cultural symbolism of freedom and independence, the automobile as a subject of photography has been facing a decline in recent years as the industry veers towards almost universal mass-production. In a collection of over 500 works by more than 90 photographers, it focuses on the relationship between photography and automobiles, as well as the various aspects of automotive culture in a demonstration of the aesthetic, social, environmental and industrial influences of the automobile from the 20th century to the present.

Andrew Bush, ‘Woman Waiting to Proceed South at Sunset and Highland Boulevards, Los Angeles, at Approximately 11:59 a.m. One Day in February 1997’, 1997. Image courtesy M+B Gallery, Los Angeles.

In an initiative much closer to home is an exhibition focusing on the brand’s own unique history, titled ‘Cartier in Motion’. Curated by award-winning British architect Norman Foster, the exhibition explores the evolution of Cartier watchmaking design through the ages, from early 20th-century Parisian ideas of luxury and opulence, to contemporary concepts that emphasise sleekness and elegance.

Design Museum London. Image courtesy Hufton + Crow.

‘Autophoto’ will run at Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris until 24 September. ‘Cartier in Motion’ will run at the Design Museum, London until 28 July.

ilyda chua

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